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Is engineering for me?

  1. Aug 23, 2008 #1
    Hey, next year is my sophomore year, and i cant seem to make up my mind if i should pick an engineering major.
    I am good at math and physics, i especially like things relating to energy, however their are lots of chapters i dislike in physics.
    And later on in my life i would like to be head of a company...
    So can you please help me decide if engineering is for me, and if so what should i major in.
    Thank you for your time and help...
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2008 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Hello, Omarm, and welcome to PF.

    It's difficult to advise without knowing one and one's interests and strengths and weaknesses. I suggest browsing this following:

    The Should-I-Become-An-Engineer? Thread

    Now engineering is essentially applied physics and engineering programs, like math and pure science programs, can be quite rigorous.

    If one likes things related to energy (or energy production), then there are several avenues from which to choose, e.g.

    Mechanical Engineering - building components such as turbomachinery which convert thermal/mechanical energy to electricity. One needs a strong background in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, mechanics of materials, corrosion, systems integration, . . . ME's work on a variety of systems, e.g. steam turbines, aeroderivative (combustion turbines), hydrotubines, windturbines, pumps, motors, pipes, ducts, power plant structures, . . .

    Electrical Engineering - power systems such as generators, and motors, and all the transmission and distribution components and networks. One needs a strong background in electrical and electronics, circuit theory, electro-magnetic theory, network analysis, control theory, . . . .

    Civil/Structural Engineering - basically involves the civil works such as power plant structures and dams, and transportation infrastructure, such as roads, highways, bridges, . . . .

    What is one's interests?
  4. Aug 23, 2008 #3
    Thank you, i've checked the thread you mentioned, and so far mechanical engineering is the field that attracts me the most.
    will it open up opportunities for me to work with alternative energies?
    and what should i major in if i am considering starting my own company?
  5. Aug 23, 2008 #4


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    Yes. You should check out the ASME - www.asme.org - website.

    A student from my high school (graduated a year before me) went to U. Texas and majored in EE, where he was a top student. He then went to Stanford for an MBA. He started two companies, one of which he sold to Qualcomm for $1 billion. He's now a multi-millionaire.

    I work for a small company started by one gentleman who was a civil engineer, but who used his expertise in finite element analysis to expand into other areas. He worked for some large companies and developed a reputation, then saw an opportunity to start his own company and did so.

    One does not need an MBA necessarily, but taking some management/buisness or entrepreneurial courses would be useful. My university had a Doctorate of Engineering (as opposed to PhD) which prepared engineers for management type roles.
  6. Aug 24, 2008 #5
    Thank your for your help it's very much appreciated...
    Do u think it is likely that i'll encounter difficulties in my studies?
    And how should i deal with them?
    More so, in your experience, what is the best way to study maths and physics and everything else needed for engineering?
  7. Aug 24, 2008 #6


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    Homework Helper

    Hi Omarm,

    It's hard to say even before you have started your course what kind of difficulties you'll face! Everyone encounters difficulties in engineering, such as not understanding coursework, doing a project with a difficult team member, burn-out etc. Search the threads here and you might get a better idea of what kind of difficulties an Eng student usually occurs and how to deal with them in advance.

    Best way to study these technical subjects is to practice a lot of problems. Reading your notes before attending lectures helps you maximise your understanding and absorbency during the lecture.

    Good luck!
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